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Newspaper Page Text
"THE HUMAN SLAUGHTER HOUSE!'?
(Copyright, 1913, by the Frederic A.
For a whole of the forenoon we had
heard firing in the distance, the thun
der of cannon and the rattle of mus
9 ketry. Our regiment had been march
ed hither and thither. The fight had
drawn nearer and nearer. We were
expecting to be under fire at any mo
ment, and then we had to fall back
again, and look for a new place to
develop our attack. It seemed as if
the orders that came through were
contradictory, and this tension of un
certainty fell like a blight on our
spirits, and got on the nerves both of
officers and men. At length we had
wound through a defile, the steep
slopes of which, left and right, were
thickly grown with trees. Things had
got into a bit of a mess. We had had
to force our way through under
growth soaked with rain, through
brambles and clumps of tall broom on
which the green pods were "still perfd-T are oaks or beeches over there
ent. At times there was nothine in
sight except the roof and wall of
We breathed more freely when at
last the sky spread clear overhead
So now we have reached a green
'meadow, and are marching straight
across it, but are still unable to see
anything of the enemy's forces yet.
Even the firing has died down, and
has become more distant than be
fore. It seemed as if we had come
into another, remoter world, and
so we have; for soon we notice how
soft the ground has become under
our feet, how water is oozing up at
every step. We shall, if we go on, J in a vice.
be right in the middle of a swamp.
That is the reason of the solitude
reigning all around us.
The terrain is impracticable.
To the right and left of us, and all
about us, nothing but swamp, run
ning out into a broad sheet of open
water, the depths of which no one
can guess, or tell whether it be ford
able. The head of the column is already
swinging round and we are retracing
our steps toward the defile to get out
of the rat-trap.
And in the middle of the meadow:
"Halt! Form sections!"
The companies have fallen in. The
officers have assembled, and are
pow-wowing. We seem to have lost
touch. The sergeant beside me is
swearing'up his sleeve, and is cursing
at something about lunacy and
blindman's buff. I am gazing up
meditatively at the heights, over
grown with trees and undergrowth,
and am thinking what fun it would
be if we were to have to make our
way back to'the defile now, and in the
thick of it the enemy were to break
in on us right and left no man
would come out of it alive the battle
of the Teutoburger Forest recurs to
me I am trying to make out if they
Of a sudden there is a flash of light
ning from the undergrowth; the
very firmament cracks and sways as
if it were going to fall in on us.
"Lie down!" Horror screams
somewhere or other.
And trembling, we lie down
and over our heads rushes something
that howls for our flesh.
What's the next thing? Up and at
them now! Rush straight at the
guns. Suffocate their fiery mouths
with our flesh and bones.
"Up! Get up!"
The captain comes up to us at a
run. The breath of the iron holds
us tight pressed to the ground as if
Turn your head away.
The vault of heaven has cracked
above us, and has spurted down on
to the sana.from above. Lif is lying